According to an EPA estimate in 2012, Americans create roughly 251 tons of garbage each year. Of that waste 87 million tons were recycled or composted. While this works out to a recycle rate of 34.5% it still falls behind many other countries and results in millions of tons of waste filling up landfills and dumps. There are many small changes we can make in our daily life to prevent waste and the negative effects it has on our environment.
Americans throw away 2,500,000 plastic bottles every hour.
Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator.
Plastic garbage thrown into the ocean, including plastic bags, is responsible for the deaths of 1 million sea creature per year.
Recycling 100 aluminum cans can light a room for two weeks.
At one time, aluminum was more valuable than gold!
The three R's of recycling.........REDUCE, RE-USE, RECYCLE
All recycling starts with a choice. Do you want to make changes in your everyday life that can positively effect our environment? The three main ways to recycle are to reduce, re-use, recycle. Reduce the amount of waste you create, re-use items instead of putting them in the trash, and recycle items like plastic, aluminum, glass and many others instead of throwing them away.
Do sort your materials. Even though the blue bins says 'glass', 'plastic' etc. make sure that you place only the allowed type of glass, plastic, aluminum, paper, and cardboard.
Do clean soiled materials. Dry cardboard is easily recyclable, but only one side of the pizza box is recyclable....the top because it is clean. The bottom portion is contaminated, therefore, it must be put in the trash.
Do check your local community rules and regulations. Every city has it's own set of rules and ordinances when it comes to recycling, so be informed as to what is accepted and where it is accepted.
Do keep your materials tidy. Be organized. Create a system that works for you and your family. Sort items daily.
Do not place any materials with food on them in the recycle bin. Food debris can contaminate the recycling processing machine and can cause it to not function properly. This includes paper towels and napkins, paper etc.
Do not put medical waste into the recycling bin. Medical waste is household hazardous waste and needs to be disposed of in a medical bin. A loose syringe contaminates the bin and can be potentially harmful for someone to come into contact with.
Do not put any electronics of any kind in the recycling bin.
Source: Recycle Guide